Mets don’t need to name a new captain anytime soon
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets fans get “captain on the brain” a little more than fans of other franchises. Can we blame them? The team has had four different men named the captain with Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez even sharing duties in the 1980s.
The franchise even named a relief pitcher, John Franco, a captain well after his best years. David Wright, the most famous captain of all, is the most recent to play with the “C” on his chest. Since his retirement, many of pondered “who’s next?”
Michael Conforto. Pete Alonso. Dominic Smith. Jacob deGrom. The team has many candidates. This is precisely why handing out the title is an unnecessary gesture.
With so many captain possibilities, why should the Mets even name one?
Conforto has been with the Mets long enough where I don’t think a player pass gas without him knowing. He has seemingly taken over the unofficial role as the team captain, but there are some equally as outspoken, for the better, players in the locker room.
Alonso solidified himself as a team leader back in 2019. Smith did the same with last year’s performance and only seems to have more credibility as time goes on.
We also can’t forget about deGrom, the best pitcher in baseball. Certainly not a favorite for the honor because starting pitchers do tend to be in their own worlds at times, it’s tough to leave him out of the conversation entirely.
The naming of a new Mets captain would certainly bring a reason to celebrate. Even so, it’s not a necessary step the franchise must take.
The Mets need leaders, not a single figurehead on the vanguard
Leadership is important in all aspects of life. In sports, having a single man in front has its benefits.
On a team like the Mets, though, I see it as more of a detriment to what many of the team’s leaders bring to the field and locker room.
A good leader isn’t easy to find. Sewing a “C” on a chest in baseball should be reserved for very special occasions. Everyone in the past who has had one earned it. The candidates on this current roster are still too green and too close to each other in terms of what they show in terms of leadership abilities. I definitely do think the next Mets captain could reside on the roster right now. But why rush an announcement when it doesn’t bring much to the win column?
I want to see these young potential captains prove themselves more. A few more grizzled years from them and then maybe we can start talking about the title.
Until then, the only captain I worry about is Luis Rojas—the manager in charge of things.
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He, too, must prove himself worthy to everyone else in a Mets uniform. If there’s anyone I want to see Mets players stand up on their desks and chant “O Captain! O Captain!” at, it’s him.